MReport April 2021

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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34 | M R EP O RT EXPERT INSIGHTS Capital Markets Piquing Lender Interest Patricia Cook, CEO for Finance of America, discusses lenders' interest in accessing public capital. P atricia Cook serves as CEO of Finance of America Companies. Finance of America offers an array of financial prod- ucts, including mortgages, reverse mortgages, commercial loans, and other lender services. After earning a B.A. in educa- tion at Saint Mary's College, Cook became interested in the sales and financial services field. She completed her MBA at New York University's Stern School of Business, and joined Salomon Brothers at a time when there were not many female MBAs on Wall Street. Cook eventually moved into the asset management sector, working with Prudential and JP Morgan as Chief Investment Officer, and Chief Business Officer at Freddie Mac. While with Freddie Mac, she learned the ins and outs of business operations, and managed the mortgage busi- ness through the best and worst of times. In 2016, she joined Finance of America Companies. Cook recently spoke with MReport to discuss why capital markets have become so attrac- tive to lenders and how Finance of America Companies was built to withstand an ever-evolving marketplace. M // We know that many lenders today are striving to tap into the public capital markets. Could you detail some of the trends and factors that are influencing those moves? COOK // For Finance of America, it had always been our plan to be a public company. The firm was started about seven years ago with private investors, and we've spent that time build- ing a company that ultimately would go public. Being public is attractive because it gives us the financial flexibility to access capital and debt, which will ultimately allow us to continue to invest in and grow the business. I think if you look at the peer group, we can speculate as to why so many mortgage companies are coming today. It's certainly due in part because there is this tailwind of a robust economic environment for mortgage companies. For Finance of America in particular, it was always part of our roadmap. M // You mentioned some of the tailwinds we are seeing. What are you seeing from your perspective and what is benefiting the lending market as we enter 2021? COOK // Finance of America is different from some of the com- panies we are often compared to. One of the fundamental differences is that we have five business segments. We have three lending segments: mortgage, reverse mortgage, and commer-

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